ILO, IFC launch Community of Practice among insurers to reduce the protection gap for women


The ILO’s Impact Insurance Facility and IFC Women’s Insurance Programme have launched a joint Women’s Insurance Community of Practice to raise awareness about the insurance needs of women and to highlight the market opportunity for insurers if they target women as customers and employees.

According to the ILO, the new partnership will lead 21 insurance industry organizations from 16 countries to better understand and serve the women’s insurance market — supporting both financial inclusion and employment opportunities for women.

The Community of Practice, which consists of 43 representatives from 21 organisations in 16 countries, will also foster learning and knowledge sharing among the group members and with external audiences.

“Closing the gaps in economic participation of women and men drives the growth of businesses and economies and improves the lives of families and communities. While women around the globe have rising incomes and increased buying power, they remain an underserved community across financial services,” the ILO said.

Henriette Kolb, Manager, Gender and Economic Inclusion Group, IFC said: “At IFC, we are focused on creating markets that are competitive, sustainable, inclusive, and resilient. The insurance sector is critical to this effort but cannot perform to its full potential without actively targeting women as customers.

“In light of COVID-19, gender-sensitive approaches have become even more important than before. Early research on the economic consequences of COVID-19 suggests that this pandemic is likely to widen the gender gap.”

Craig Churchill, Chief of Social Finance Programme, ILO said: “We are delighted to be working with IFC on this important project. We look forward to realizing the power of the Community of Practice; as a group, participants can go further and faster than individual companies might on their own.”

According to IFC’s 2015 SheforShield report, if the insurance industry were to target women as customers, they can earn up to $1.7 trillion by 2030 — half of it in emerging economies.

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